Companies often put a large focus on how to submit guest articles and why guest posting is a great SEO tactic, but few consider how difficult it can be to actually accept a guest article on their own site. There are many different choices and different questions that a website owner needs to ask before allowing someone to contribute a guest article, but these questions are often taken for granted.
Unfortunately, not putting time and thought into accepting guest posts can cause website owners more headaches than if they were to take the time to research and writer an article on their own.
Questions to Ask Before Accepting Guest Contributions
Based on my past experiences, I’ve found that the easiest way to understand (and avoid) the stress of working with guest writers is by laying out a game plan and preparing for everything that could go wrong. Below are four questions that every website owner should ask before agreeing to work with guest authors:
Is it too soon to begin accepting work from others?
Because there are so many benefits to guest posting, many website owners want to get started right away. After all, why wouldn’t you want to bring in a new audience and a new perspective? While this is all great, it isn’t always great when your website is new. Before you accept guest posts, you want to make sure that you have a really good library of articles that you have written.
Many blog owners don’t really, fully understand what the website or blog is going to be about until they really begin writing themselves. Make sure you set the tone before jumping into a guest posting relationship.
How often do I want to feature writing from guest authors?
Some blogs feel comfortable featuring guest articles every single day, while other blogs want to be responsible for the majority of the content on the site. Really ask yourself what your goal is for your blog. It’s always a good idea to start accepting less guest posts and then increase them if you feel they are improving your site. Asking this question ahead of time will help you give your guest writers a time frame regarding when a post will go live, which can be important when it comes to that extra promotion!
Should I ask for story ideas first, writing samples first, or should I ask writers to write an article they would like posted on my site?
I have worked with editors who all have different styles, and in most cases editors take one of the above three routes. You’ll want to consider this before you announce to writers your guest posting guidelines so that you’re not stuck doing work that you don’t find beneficial. In other words, ask yourself whether or not you’re willing to go back and fourth with story ideas and/or reading writing samples.
This often takes a bit longer, but you’ll ensure that you’re getting something of quality. However, some editors prefer having a writer send over an article they’d like to post. With this approach, all you need to do is read the article and say yes or no. It’s all about personal preference.
Should I give writers a WordPress login?
Some editors choose to give prospective contributors a WordPress login and then the system will have that article submitted for review. This makes it easy for editors because they will not be responsible for uploading an article, and everything will be neatly organized in one place.
However, some editors prefer to accept articles via email so that they can talk one on one with the writer and have full control over their system. On that same note, you could very well run into a writer who is unfamiliar with WordPress, so it’s something to consider. Once again, it’s all a matter of preference.
Once you ask yourself these questions, it’s time to write out your guest posting guidelines. Make sure that you include everything you want in a guest article clearly and directly. It’s a good idea to add subheadings and bullet points, just as you would with a blog post, on your guidelines to help make sure they’re easier to read.
How do you accept guest posts? Do you have a system that works for you? Have you found that certain strategies work better than others? Let us know in the comments below!
About The Guest Author: Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized SEO consulting firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.
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